The USDA has lowered its forecast for fiscal year ’16 agricultural exports to $131.5 billion which is $8.2 billion below FY ’15 exports. Lower prices, stronger competition and diminishing demand from China are the primary reasons for the decline.
The USDA lowered its forecast for livestock, poultry and dairy $2.2 billion largely due to depressed prices for beef and pork spurred by increased supplies. Grain and feed exports are forecast down $3.8 billion to $28.6 billion as decreasing trade prospects with China sharply reduce sorghum and distiller’s dried grains with solubles exports. Wheat exports are forecast down $1.2 billion to $5.5 billion, a result of lower volume as ample exporter supplies and a strong dollar limit competitiveness outside of traditional U.S. markets.
Oilseed exports are forecast at $26.3 billion, down $400 million in response to lower soybean and product prices. Cotton exports are forecast down $500 million as a result of lower prices, which are under pressure from large stocks in China. U.S. agricultural imports are forecast to reach a record $122 billion which is $8 billion higher than FY ’15. The U.S. agricultural trade surplus is forecast at $9.5 billion, down from last year’s $25.7 billion. This is lowest trade surplus since FY ’06.